The Hague, June 2 (Ajit Weekly News) Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren has unveiled an extra defence budget of billions of US dollars, calling it “the largest investment” in the country’s armed forces since the end of the Cold war.
The Dutch government will spend an extra 5 billion euros ($5.3 billion) on defence this year and will add 14.8 billion euros to the defence budget up to and, including 2025, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Netherlands will thus meet the guideline of the NATO to spend 2 per cent of gross domestic product on defence in 2024 and 2025, according to a memorandum sent by Ollongren to the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
With the decision, the Netherlands is building “agile and future-proof armed forces” by investing in people, support, equipment and cooperation, the Minister said.
The Dutch military aims to increase its operational readiness, deployability and combat power, according to the memorandum.
Firepower on land, sea and in the air will be increased, including armoured howitzers and long-range missiles for frigates and submarines.
It also intends to expand its F-35 fighter jet fleet from 46 to 52, and double the number of its MQ-9 Reaper drones from four to eight. (1 euro = $1.07)
–Ajit Weekly News